Black Pepper Caramel No-Churn Ice Cream

With hints of black pepper and surprise bites of sugar cone, caramel swirl no churn ice cream doesn’t get any easier (or more delicious) than this!

A pan, filled with Black Pepper Caramel No-Churn Ice Cream, with ice cream cones.

Ice Cream Dreams

I really enjoyed making this amazing Black Pepper Caramel No-Churn Ice Cream! I also remember making ice cream with my mom as a kid. It was fun too! For about 30 seconds. Then, the actual manual labor of turning a rickety old hand crank on a leaky ice cream churn, with frequent additions of rock salt and complaints (might have been me), made it a touch less fun.

Flash forward to grown up me with an electric ice cream maker! That I rarely used because the bowl took up too much space in my freezer and it didn’t make enough ice cream to satisfy both The Boy and three little girls… This making ice cream business is a bummer. Enter No Churn Ice Cream!

What is No-Churn Ice Cream

No Churn Ice Cream is the easy breezy way to make enough ice cream to satisfy the cravings of a boy and numerous other people at the same time! The reason it works is SCIENCE!

Utilizing just heavy whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk, this version of no-churn ice cream is deliciously easy! As heavy cream is whipped, air is incorporated and the volume is increased much the same way that old fashioned churning does.

Adding in the sweetened condensed milk adds sweetness to the ice cream without having to cook away granules of sugar as you would with traditional ice creams. These two simple ingredients combine to create a delicious and silky ice cream texture.

Essential Ingredients

After creating your base ice cream and you can add in any mix ins or flavors your heart desires!

  • Heavy cream Heavy cream or heavy whipping cream is the essential here. I haven’t tested this with alternative milks, so I can’t guide you there, but don’t use light cream or half and half. It needs the fat content to whip properly.
  • Sweetened condensed milk Make sure to read your label so you don’t accidentally pick up evaporated milk. The cans look almost identical, but couldn’t be more different. Sweetened condensed milk has had more than half of the water removed and sugar added. Evaporated milk also has most of its water removed, but contains no sugar. Read that label!
  • Caramel I started out making this recipe fancy-like, making my own black pepper salted caramel, but realized not everyone is a crazy overachiever like me and might want a quick and easy recipe. But if you have the time and you want to go for it, you can make your own caramel. I have an easy version in my Salted Caramel Brownies recipe (allow the caramel to cool after making, but don’t refrigerate.) Whether you use store bought caramel, or homemade, just remember to add the salt and pepper. 
Salted Caramel in a mason jar.
Salted Caramel
  • Black pepper Pre-gound black pepper is… peppery, but that’s it. That’s because as oxygen reacts with the pepper, it loses some of its flavor. Grinding your own pepper brings out its natural fruitiness and bright notes. There’s not a lot of pepper in this recipe, but buy a grinder and make it count! Truly, a tiny Mega Market pre-filled grinder will do. I would literally rather you left out the pepper and just made an amazing salted caramel ice cream than use pre-ground pepper.
  • Vanilla This adds a wonderfully warm vanilla flavor to the ice cream base. Kind of the bass note to the black pepper’s high note. They sing together! You can use vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. I prefer the paste because it add so much more true vanilla flavor, and I love the little flecks of vanilla seeds.
  • Sugar cones or waffles cones When added to the ice cream mixture and sprinkled on top, not only do you get the whole ice cream cone experience, you get two different textures to increase the fun factor of your dessert!

How long will this ice cream last?

Most ice creams, homemade and store bought, should last about 2-3 months, if properly stored. There are a few things you can do to keep it fresher, longer.

  • Don’t leave your ice cream out for a long time and then refreeze. That will definitely affect its texture. You can leave it out for about 10 minutes to soften, scoop to your heart’s content, but then get it back into the freezer.
  • Keep your freezer at the proper temperature (0°F or -18°C). 
  • Place plastic wrap pressed onto the surface of the ice cream to help prevent ice crystals from forming. I even do this with store bought ice cream. My family used to think it was weird. Now they do it too!
  • Store your ice cream in the back of your freezer. It’s colder there and you won’t be able to get to it so easily. That’ll make it last longer, too 🤣

What goes good with ice cream?

A pan, filled with Black Pepper Caramel No-Churn Ice Cream, with ice cream cones.

Black Pepper Caramel No-Churn Ice Cream

With hints of black pepper and surprise bites of sugar cone, caramel swirl no churn ice cream doesn’t get any easier (or more delicious) than this!
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Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup caramel (I made my own, but store bought adds to the ease of this recipe, and it can be just as delicious. Buy a good one!)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper coarse ground, freshly cracked
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk store it in the fridge the night before you make this to keep all the ingredients nice and chilly while mixing
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 sugar cones broken up in pieces

Instructions

  • Measure your caramel out in a small measuring cup. Add the salt and black pepper and stir in. Microwave for 30 seconds to loosen it up just a bit. Allow the caramel to cool while you mix everything else together.
  • In a small bowl whisk together your cold sweetened condensed milk, vanilla paste, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, or in the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream to stiff peaks, being careful not to overwhip. You’ll know it’s done when the cream stands straight up when you pull out the whisk. You can also try the putting the bowl upside down over your head test but that didn’t work out so well for me once 😕
  • Fold about one cup of the the whipped cream into the condensed milk mix, essentially loosening it up. Gently fold this mixture into the rest of your whipped cream, slowly mixing the two together to keep it light and fluffy.
  • Place half of the ice cream mixture into a glass or metal pan (metal helps it freeze faster and stay frozen longer). Drizzle half of the caramel sauce over the top and crack on a little more black pepper. Using a butter knife, swirl the caramel into the ice cream. Add some broken up sugar cones and extra black pepper on top.
  • Add the rest of the ice cream, the rest of the caramel (drizzle!), more cracked black pepper and swirl again. Top with more broken cone. Beautiful! 😘 Cover with plastic wrap and lightly press directly onto the ice cream (to prevent ice crystals from forming) and store in the freezer for at least 6 hours.
  • It’s been (at least) 6 hours and now your patience shall be rewarded! Take the ice cream out of the freezer and allow to sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes. It just needs a few moments to defrost to scoopableness (new vocab). Enjoy it in a cone or in a bowl. On a train or in the rain. You will eat it here or there. You will eat it EVERYWHERE!
    Sooo… Enjoy your ice cream 😋
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